After Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge’s comments expunged from Parliament
The Congress chief had questioned whether the exponential rise in industrialist Gautam Adani’s wealth was due to favours from the government.
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday raised objections against the decision of Rajya Sabha chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar to expunge some of his remarks from Parliament records, NDTV reported.
In his speech in the Upper House on Wednesday, Kharge had questioned whether the exponential rise in industrialist Gautam Adani’s wealth was due to favours from the government. His comments came a day after party MP Rahul Gandhi had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of favouring the Adani Group.
Eighteen remarks – all of them related to Adani – made by Gandhi in his speech in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday had also been expunged.
On Thursday, Kharge told Dhankhar that he had not said anything “unparliamentary or accusatory” in his speech for his remarks to be expunged.
“If you have any doubt then you could have asked in different way, but you have asked for my words in six places to be expunged,” he said in the Rajya Sabha, according to NDTV.
Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh tweeted that certain remarks made by Dhankhar should have been expunged instead.
The ongoing Budget session of Parliament has witnessed repeated adjournments and uproar with the Opposition parties demanding a joint parliamentary committee investigation into allegations of unfair business practices by the Adani Group.
The conglomerate headed by India’s second-richest person Gautam Adani has been under the scanner since American short-seller Hindenburg Research, on January 24, accused it of pulling off the “largest con in corporate history”.
The report claimed that the conglomerate has over the decades been involved in stock manipulation, accounting fraud, used offshore shells for money laundering and siphoned money from listed companies. Since the report was released, Adani Group companies have lost above $100 billion in a rout in the stock markets.
After Gandhi and Kharge targeted the Central government, alleging it of being involved in a collusion with the Adani Group, it was widely expected that Modi will address the matter in his response to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the president’s address. However, even as the prime minister spoke for more than an hour in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, he did not make a single reference to the allegations.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Gandhi criticised the prime minister for not giving answers to the questions he had posed on the Adani matter.
“I had not asked any complicated questions,” Gandhi said. “I had only asked how many times he [Adani] had travelled with you, how many times you had met him there. Those were simple questions but there were no answers.”